When Susanna Wickes and I started Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine nearly three years ago, we were just a couple of twenty-something cultural explorers who spent most days eating aloo ghobi from street vendors in a park full of ancient ruins and bright green parrots. Since then, we have each stretched into new places and different worlds: Susanna married Mr. Wang, learned a new language, and won the hearts of Inner Mongolian students and grandmothers alike. I spun like a top and, when my eyes finally focused, found myself on the banks of an Alaskan river watching red-bodied Sockeye Salmon porpoise by the thousands through bear-lined banks. I married a bearded man, took on his dog and another we named Cormac McArfy, and bought more furniture than I can fit in my car.
In the in-between times, Outside In grew and stretched in its own way. Miriam Vaswani, a contributor to our very first issue, became our Fiction Editor in February of 2013, and we couldn’t be more proud of her recent novella, Frontier, based on a short story which appeared in our very first issue. Vicki Valosik took over as Nonfiction Editor in February 2013 as well, and curated some of our most beautiful collections. Kelly Ann Jacobson, true to her prolific ways, brought in an incredible community of global poets. Shenan Prestwich, Assistant Poetry Editor, and Rosa Lisa, Assistant Nonfiction Editor, lent their talent and cultural insights in ways that indisputably added to the robustness of each collection. Erin P.T. Canning helped us spread the word far and wide.
Every publication has a life-cycle of its own, and the editors and I agree that, though we love what we’ve done dearly, it seems time to pack up our bags on this particular journey. I’ll be honest; I was feeling pretty pragmatic about the decision until I wrote the first line of this final editor’s note and got a bit choked up. Sometimes transitions are tough like that; we know what we have to look forward to next is good or great or, at the very least, sure to be some kind of new adventure, but damn if it’s not hard to stop remembering the sheer delight of watching those green-winged parrots with my best friend in the setting sun, just as I know it will leave a space in our each of our editors’ hearts to put our seat-backs up and wonder how many stories we never got to tell.
Thank you, dear readers and contributors, for coming on this journey with us. I have learned so much from you. Click here to get started with our final issue.
With absolute gratitude,
Brandi Dawn Henderson
Editor in Chief | Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine